Buginese chicken or known as “ayam (chicken) masak (cook) bugis” is from the Southern part of Sulawesi island in Indonesia where the Buginese ethic is the majority there. Traditionally the whole chicken is stewed in coconut milk along with other ingredients commonly used in Indonesian kitchen such as: cinnamon, bay leaves, nutmeg, and shrimp paste (belacan or trasi). It is rich in taste and that shrimp paste really gives the dish a great depth of taste. I didn’t used a whole chicken in this recipe. You are welcome to do it either way. The Buginese chicken is one of my personal favorites from the Indonesian kitchen.
BUGINESE CHICKEN (4-6 servings)
- 3 lbs mixture of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into large chunks
- 1 Tbsp of cooking oil
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 10 small shallots peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp of shrimp paste
- 2 bay leaves/ daun salam
- 3- inch of cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp of nutmeg powder
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp of brown sugar
- 1 ½ Tbsp of white distilled vinegar
- 4 cups of coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups packed of baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup of sweet corn kernels if frozen, thawed
- Preheat a large pot on high heat. Add in 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add in garlic and the rest of the ingredients up to nutmeg powder on the ingredient list. Stir fry until fragrant, about 5 minutes
- Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add in brown sugar, vinegar, and coconut milk. Bring it back to a boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is roughly reduced by half. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper to your taste. It should be savory. Add in spinach leaves and sweet corn kernels. Stir to mix everything and cook just until the spinach leaves started to wilt. Remove from the heat and serve immediately or warm with plain rice
I discovered cinnamon used for cooking in Marocco (I had only used it for baking till then) and I love its taste combined with meat or rice. Unfortunately Dan is not so open to this combo so I only get to use it once in while.
I like Morrocon cuisine too. They have a little similarity to Indonesian cooking.